Merchants and residents will celebrate at the annual Sorrento Cheese 9th Street Italian Market Festival this weekend, which will feature a performance by Frankie Avalon.

Jules Esposito doesn't get much sleep on the weekends. It's the busiest time for him and his sons, Jules Jr. and Michael, who usually "cook around the clock" for hundreds of customers, including restaurants, caterers, country clubs and, of course, individuals.

With the Sorrento Cheese 9th Street Italian Market Festival coming up May 20 and 21, Jules, owner of Esposito's Porchetta, definitely won't be catching much shut-eye - there's too much pork to be roasted.

Esposito's Porchetta, 1627 S. 10th St., carves up seven to 10, 170-pound pigs for each festival day and uses them to make mouth-watering pork sandwiches.

A third-generation pork merchant, Esposito and his cousins, Louis and Lee, who own Esposito Meats at Ninth and Carpenter streets in the Italian Market, have been participating in the free, outdoor festival since it first started in the late 1970s.

"You get people from all walks of life," Jules said of the fest. "They're just enjoying the nuances of the market and what they can get there. You meet so many kinds of people that day."

Jules Esposito, owner of Esposito's Porchetta, fires up his 100-year-old brick oven in which whole pigs are roasted. The pigs will be carved for pork sandwiches at this weekend's Sorrento Cheese 9th Street Italian Market Festival. PHOTO BY MEREDITH EDLOW

Esposito’s Porchetta, 1627 S. 10th St. 215.271.8418